Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

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Vorticon Elite
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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by szemi »

Soul Monster wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 9:07
szemi wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 8:31 My memorable level is the Pyramid of the Forbidden. It took me years to get there as before, I dreamt everything about it. It had vampires and mummies in it and such.
What was your reaction when you finally got to play the stage and it wasn't anything like what you imagined?
My reaction was that it's the hardest pyramid and there's the Oracle Janitor in it.
Yeah, piece of cake!
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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by StupidBunny »

It's a reeeaaaaall tough call, because there's a lot of places in all the Keen games that I felt had a really powerful sense of place, and so many I could point to where I would wander round exploring just thinking and speculating about what the aliens used these spaces and buildings and controls for.

I'll have to go with the Korath III Base though, for a couple reasons...

For one I will never forget the absolute bafflement I felt so many years ago, when I walked through some nondescript door in the Gravitational Damping Hub and suddenly found myself on the surface of Korath III, facing a level I had no idea was there. Imagine my reaction then when I enter this level, and I'm under a sky full of wispy purple flags as a surreal drone and a strange mustachioed little alien walk towards me...for about two seconds, before the game suddenly crashed and left me unable to continue.

I didn't find the level again for years, and it felt almost like some sort of weird dream I had had, like there was no way this level with these aliens actually existed. When I finally played the level for real, I still loved it. To this day I love the idea of the map, a hidden base on the surface of a strange planet, a nice break from the claustrophobic halls of a space station. I've often wondered about what the base was for and what the rest of Korath III is like. Plus I'm a huge sucker for gimmicky secret maps, I appreciate any secret level that looks or feels very different from the rest of the game. This makes up for the actual gameplay of the Korath III Base, which admittedly can be a bit of a grind :p
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Re: Your most memorable level or place in Keen?

Post by The Shifted One »

I almost find it impossible to narrow it down to just one.
There are so many strong childhood memories born from this series that I can still vividly relive with ease.

I guess I will start with a few honourable mentions then ;)

The capital city (level 4) in Keen 1:
The vorticon in the end is what did it.
I would try to get him on screen and then go back to the lower area and hide on it the platform with the raygun and the SGA sign and wait for him to fall of the screen on the left.
My father was quite surprised when he saw that it worked and made the joke "I guess that wolf really need to take a piss somewhere else".
I actually have a lot of great memories of playing Keen together with him; memories I've grown to cherish all the more after his passing in 2011.

The voritcon commander's castle:
So many memories here.
At first I had no idea how to beat the commander at the end so I just ran underneath one of his jumps and went for the exit.
Turns out this leaves the game in an unfinishable state because I never collected the bottle at the end.
Not until I discovered how to actually do that part I realized Keen 1 had an actual ending; I always just thought the game just kinda stayed in its previous state.
After that I would abuse the lower part of the level to get outrageous high scores just to piss my sister off who, for reason, really valued her high scores.
Jump in, collect all teddys, die and repeat ad infinitum.
I could do it for hours and finish the level (and with that, the game) eventually just to show off the high score.

Now for the real one:
Pyramid of the Moons in Keen 4.
The only thing better then the most memorable locations to me is one that you share with someone else.
This level always been one of the most mysterious levels in the entire series with all the added content and secrets that would seem to hold no purpose.
Because if this me and one of my best friends (who is just as autistic and obsessed with Keen as myself) had this level marked as one of the levels that might hold the secret to the "Pyramid of the hand".
Although we (thought we) had found everything in the Chasm of Chill's we had missed the clue so we had no certainty on it.
One Sunday morning my friend rushed in, almost looking like he was in a state of panic and talks about the strange dream he had.
In his dream we were playing Keen 4 and found the secret level somewhere inside the Pyramid of the Moons!
Something had happened in the level that created some sort of platform that Keen would ride towards the secret level!
Off course, he had no idea or quite simple didn't remember what actually happened and besides, it was just a dream right?
It was a strange case though, we hadn't played Keen 4 in a while because we had kinda given up on finding it but yet he still dreamed about it.
It did bring our interest back and we decided to go back to our "Potential secret level list" and without question we started with the Pyramid of the Moons.
Hour's of searching every nook and cranny provided us with nothing until I had the brilliant idea of bringing all the little yellow useless worms together.
I always found it strange they seemed to serve no purpose in the game and that one bridge you can close even though you can just jump over the gap also seemed weird.
It was almost as if it was meant to keep the worms on the other side away from the others.
And so the idea was born and we got working it.
The magic moment when that (to us very random, as Europeans we had no idea about inches and foot) giant foot showed up is forever engraved in our minds.
The mother of all celebratory screams of 2 kids was let loose in the household.
Seldomly before or after had we ever been into such a complete state of euphoria that may only have lasted for minutes but seemed to last forever.
The biggest mystery of our young lives had just been solved; although the mystery of dream remains.
I've now known this man for about 32 years and whenever we meet up on the occasion this topic still pop's up a surprising lot.
It still captivates us all those years later.
The story of how his dream helped us find what was to us the most secret of secret levels.
The story of how one video game gave us so many great memories, with this one standing out the most.
Truly irreplaceable.
Existence is futile!
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